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Showing posts from February, 2019

Casio CZ-5000 (Part Two)

The last time I had my poor, battered CZ-5000 open, I tried to change the signal relay, a small component usually found in consumer electronics to suppress the thump sound heard at power-on. These are known to go bad in the CZ range, and can apparently cause all kinds of interference in the audio signal, from distortion and pops to volume drops and more. My machine was experiencing all these things, including an excessive amount of noise when moving the chorus slider. The signal relay drop-in replacement that I bought on eBay didn’t work so I cleaned the old as well as I could, re-installed it, and declared it fixed. Well, that didn’t last long. I fired up the CZ-5000 recently to install some patches I found online and was disappointed to discover that my “fix” was no longer working, and all the horrible noise had come back. It was time to address this issue permanently. And, while the machine was open, I figured I may as well replace the old LCD screen, which had a column of bad

Kawai K1r

Even the most casual reader of this page will have realized that my tastes skew towards the analog. However, I’m not an analog purist. Like a chef, I prefer to have a variety of spices at hand with which to season my music. (Can you tell I just ate lunch?) So to that end I have a Yamaha TX81Z and Korg DW-8000 in my kitchen. Erm, studio. Add to that now a Kawai K1r. Actually this is the second K1r I’ve owned in my lifetime. The first one made a brief stop in my studio in the early 2000’s when I was searching for a new sound. I eventually settled on breaks made in the box but before jettisoning all my studio gear (yes, I do regret it) I remember managing to get not very much useful out of the K1r except some weird digital pitch-bent gurgles. So why did I buy another one? A couple of reasons. First, I want all the synths. Not very realistic but it’s true. Second, I used to own one and I’d like to get the old studio back together. Third, I had a Yamaha TG33 for awhile and I really li

Korg Delta DL-50 Strings Synthesizer

I do love a good stringer. Ive worked on a Yamaha SK20 and a Roland RS-09 and RS-101 . This time it’s a Korg Delta DL-50 Strings Synthesizer, a lovely machine from 1979. It came out as part of Korg’s series of three Greek letter-named polyphonic machines. There was the Sigma and Lambda, both of which were largely preset machines, and then the Delta, which arguably offered the most control (until the Trident came out in 1980 and blew it out of the water). The Delta is fully polyphonic, no mean feat then or now. Before you get too excited though, it’s basically just a glorified organ. It uses three divide-down oscillators to create all the notes (plus one more for high C). So yes, you can hold down all the keys at the same time but you’re limited to a square wave. A very nice square wave, it should be noted, but just that one waveform nonetheless. The sound is further divided into synth and string sections, the former of which is pushed through a variable filter (low or bandpass),